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There are three search tabs: Apps, Settings, Files. I currently have to mouse click or navigate down to reach Settings and Files, as Apps is searched by default.

Is there a way to get all search results on one page, like on Mac OS X, with the top hit first? Ubuntu does it that way, too...

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You don't have to use the search tabs, just start typing when on the start screen (charms bar closed), it will show all relevant results in all 3 categories. – Moab Jun 9 '12 at 15:42
@Moab But not on the same screen... – soandos Jul 18 '12 at 21:28
I learned that WIN + F opens the Files page, and that you can navigate between categories with arrows. – MarkovCh1 Sep 9 '12 at 18:00
Note Windows 7 did the same (showed all results together, selected settings when there were no programs, etc.). – Bob Oct 27 '12 at 11:16
In my searching I did find it's only $5 but it adds the start button back which will do merged search results. If you already have the object desktop subscription though, you get it for free. There is also which is free. – Thraka Nov 22 '12 at 17:52
up vote 16 down vote accepted

No, there isn't. Recall the blog post for designing search on the Start Screen:

Searching via the Start menu has continued to evolve with each release. The Windows 8 Start search experience builds on top of search features available in Windows 7 and provides a unique view for each of the three system groups - Apps, Settings and Files. These search result views are a natural progression from the Windows 7 groups and are easily accessible from anywhere in the operating system via the Search charm or keyboard shortcuts. Separating the search results into views means we can tailor the experience for each data type. For example, the File search view provides you with filters and search suggestions while typing to quickly complete your query.

Which basically means that the all-at-once search results view from Windows 7 is gone. Your only option now appears to be to think of what you're searching for and using the right shortcut. The shortcuts are as follows:

  • Win(+Q) – Search for apps
  • Win+W – Search for settings
  • Win+F    – Search for files

As for finding a 3rd-party program that aggregates the search results again: I consider it unlikely, mostly because Microsoft has been very restrictive of allowing 3rd-party access to APIs that could dramatically alter the user experience (for better or worse – because, frankly, the overwhelming majority of programs would just take a turn for the worse). This has been the case with things like “Pin to Start Menu” or “Pin to Task bar” and creating an own search provider that overrides the default search falls very much in the realm of “unwanted and impossible” in my opinion.

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(Win + Q is a little more accurate in search for apps) is there any possibility of a workaround or custom view? Since it is possible to have app specific searches (e.g. Store), would it be possible to make an app's search the default (and then develop an app that aggregates the different search results)? – Bob Oct 27 '12 at 12:09
You can probably hijack the shortcuts and provide something on your own but extending or changing the Start Screen is very likely not possible. Remember that Microsoft has been very cautious with newer UI features and how (or whether) they can be accessed or overridden by developers. Hijacking the search in the Start screen appears to be just such a case because every crapware you install would hook into that (just like they take over the browser's home page and search right now). – Joey Oct 27 '12 at 12:15
thoughts on Start8 ? – n00b May 30 '14 at 13:54

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